The Jacksonville State University drama department raises the curtain on its 2017-18 season with “An Enemy of the People,” which has its final performances today  at 2:30 p.m. and Monday at 7:30 p.m.

As a small Norwegian town prepares to open its healing springs, Dr. Thomas Stockmann discovers deadly pollution in the waters. But as the government officials and citizens question what his findings will mean for the town, the doctor realizes that no good deed goes unpunished. How can he convince them that scientific fact can save the life of the town? This timely drama explores what happens when the truth collides with the will of the majority.

“An Enemy of the People” was written in 1882 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. In the 1950s, it was adapted by famed playwright Arthur Miller.

A representative from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival attended an earlier performance to judge the show, according to director Mike Boynton.

“Starting last year, JSU Drama began to participate in the KCACTF competition, and three of our students received regional nominations for their work. That’s really exciting,” Boynton said.

“It will certainly be nice if the JSU campus and local community attends our performances and supports our efforts. The bigger the audience, the better the show!”

Tickets to “An Enemy of the People” are $12 and available at the box office at 256-782-5648 or www.jsu.edu/drama.

Two of Ibsen’s dramas have been presented in Anniston in past years. “Hedda Gabbler” and “A Doll’s House” were staged by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Anniston Community Theatre, respectively.

JSU library opens children’s room

Since last April, work has progressed on the new Children’s Reading Room at JSU’s Houston Cole Library. The room’s official opening was last week.

This large corner of the library’s fifth floor is now a colorful, dynamic and inviting facility designed to foster a love for children’s literature and reading, and to promote literacy to elementary-aged children in East Central Alabama.

Besides weekly “read-aloud” nights, the room will host book readings and signings by children’s authors and illustrators.

It will also serve as a space for a readers’ theater, arts and crafts and other programming that emphasizes the importance of reading.

Botanic Gardens selling holiday greenery

If you “need a little Christmas right now,” as the singers in the Broadway show “Mame” expressed after getting some bad news, then deck your door, gate or dining room table with a fresh green wreath to benefit Longleaf Botanical Gardens.

Orders will be taken through Nov. 15 for garlands and wreaths made in Cashiers, N.C.

“These wreaths have staying power,” said Botanical Gardens volunteer Brenda Roberts. “They come from a cooler climate and are so versatile as home decor.”

Jean Ann Oglesby and Jennifer Maddox, who attended the sale last year, are definitely satisfied customers.

“Nothing says Christmas better than fresh greenery,” Oglesby said. “I chose to use my wreath as a ring around a tall centerpiece at our dining room table. The fragrance and lack of needles shedding everywhere made our Christmas season more wonderful.”           

Added Maddox: “It’s the easiest way to decorate for the holidays! Just pick up your gorgeous fresh wreath and hang it on your front door.  Smells wonderful and looks great for weeks!”

A 24-inch wreath is $30. Add $10 for a red velvet bow. A 6-foot garland is $18.

Order forms are available on the Anniston Museum website (annistonmuseum.org) and at several area restaurants, or send a check to Longleaf Foundation Greenery Sale, P.O. Box 1910, Anniston, AL 36202.

Orders must be picked up at the Botanical Gardens on Nov. 29 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Gift idea: New book by ‘Aunt Sister’

Julia Segars’ new book, ‘Aunt Sister,’ is a collection of Southern recollections that find humor in everyday life, according to the author.    

Keep it in mind for your Christmas list. Visit www.auntsister.com or call Segars at 256-832-2474.

The book is based on columns written for The Talladega Daily Home. One of those columns was a first-place winner in the Alabama Press Association’s 2017 Better Newspaper Contest for humorous column.

The winning column tells the tale of the “Leven Dollar” store — a bait shop, gas station and convenience store where most all purchases end up costing $11, because the clerk “can’t do take-aways.”

I especially liked the chapter on “Big Blue,” in which Segars likened a 1982 Chevy truck to a genial friend, always available to help when the family needed to move furniture or other heavy items. Her father, a trusting soul, kept the car keys inside on the floor board, with Blue’s doors unlocked. A friend might want to borrow him, knowing that Blue must be returned. But one day the truck went missing….

Elsewhere in the book, we learn what Furbies are — or were — and how they wreaked havoc in a family. Furbies are battery-powered toy gremlins, with creepy eyes, that call out Furbie words when a child’s late-night movement triggers their motion detectors.

In another memorable story, Aunt Sister, evidently very community-minded, once agreed to dance the cha-cha for charity.

Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at herveyfolsom@yahoo.com.

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